By: Mike Maharrey
FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 12, 2019) – Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has signed a bill into law making it legal for state residents to carry firearms concealed without a license and also fostering an environment more hostile to federal gun control.
A coalition of 11 Republicans sponsored Senate Bill 150 (SB150). Under the new law, it is now legal to carry a firearm concealed in Kentucky without a license.
“Persons age twenty-one (21) or older, and otherwise able to lawfully possess a firearm, may carry concealed firearms or other concealed deadly weapons without a license in the same locations as persons with valid licenses issued under KRS 237.110.”
The state will continue to issue concealed carry licenses for those who wish to carry concealed in states that offer CCDW reciprocity.
SB150 passed the Senate by a 29-8 vote and cleared the House 60-37. With Gov. Bevin’s signature, the law will go into effect 90 after the conclusion of the legislative session.
Several “poison pill” amendments were proposed in the House to effectively kill the bill. Grassroots pressure was instrumental in holding legislators’ feet to the fire and moving the bill forward. Activist T.J. Roberts called the grassroots pressure “fundamental.”
“Politicians do not support your fundamental liberty. The grassroots must put pressure on politicians to act in support of liberty. Multiple politicians wanted to kill this bill. Once they realized they would lose their job if they did kill the bill or poison it with anti-gun amendments, they fell in line.”
Roberts said grassroots leaders are already looking at ways to build on the momentum.
“A good next step for gun rights would be to nullify NICS in Kentucky by separating our background check system from that tyrannical federal system. In other issues, it may be time to pass the taxpayers bill of rights here in Kentucky.”
EFFECT ON FEDERAL GUN CONTROL
While permitless carry bills do not directly affect federal gun control, the widespread passage of permitless conceal carry laws in states subtly undermines federal efforts to regulate guns. As we’ve seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, a federal regulation becomes ineffective when states ignore it and pass laws encouraging the prohibited activity anyway.
The federal government lacks the enforcement power necessary to maintain its ban, and people will willingly take on the small risk of federal sanctions if they know the state will not interfere. This increases when the state actively encourages “the market.”
Less restrictive state gun laws will likely have a similar impact on federal gun laws. It will make it that much more difficult for the feds to enforce any future federal gun control, and increase the likelihood that states with few limits will simply refuse to cooperate with federal enforcement efforts.
State actions such as the passage of SB150 lower barriers for those wanting to the option of defending themselves with firearms and encourages a “gun-friendly” environment that makes federal efforts to limit firearms that much more difficult.